Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: immunology ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: immunology
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: danen-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 13 Aug 2003 07:47 PDT
Expires: 12 Sep 2003 07:47 PDT
Question ID: 244223
What is the number of macrophages in the human body?

Request for Question Clarification by knowledge_seeker-ga on 13 Aug 2003 08:05 PDT
Do you mean the number of types of macrophages, or the actual number
of macrophage cells in the whole body?

Subject: Re: immunology
Answered By: tehuti-ga on 13 Aug 2003 09:15 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello danen,

According to data from Wintrobe's Clinical Hematology, Ninth Edition,
edited by G.R. Lee, T.C. Bithell, J. Foerster, J.W. Athens, J.N.
Lukens and published by Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia PA, 1993, which is
cited by Robert A. Freitas Jr in Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic
Capabilities, published by Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 1999:

there are approximately "0.2 trillion macrophages and other
reticuloendothelial (mononuclear phagocyte) cells throughout the human

Freitas also gives a total white blood cell count of 0.4 trillion in
the blood. Monocytes, which are precursors of macrophages, make up
approximately 2-8% of that total, ie about 8-32 billion monocytes in
total. Their numbers will vary with the general status of health.

The Freitas figures for numbers of different cells in the body are
available online:

The "other reticuloendothelial (mononuclear phagocyte) cells" will
include cells that resemble macrophages and have similar functions,
such as the Kupfer cells in the liver.

Search strategy: total macrophages "in the human body"

I hope this is the information that you are seeking.

Clarification of Answer by tehuti-ga on 13 Aug 2003 09:28 PDT
I forgot to cite a reference for monocytes making up 2-8% of the total
white blood cell count:

" Monocytes normally make up 2-8% of the WBCs (100-500/mm3 of blood).
   a. Monocytes are important phagocytes.
   b. Monocytes differentiate into macrophages when they leave the
blood and enter the tissue. Macrophages and dendritic cells are very
important in phagocytosis and serve as antigen-presenting cells in the
adaptive immune responses"
    1. Defense Cells in the Blood: The Leukocytes
By Gary Kaiser, Community College of Baltimore County
danen-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: immunology
From: emptycagegirl-ga on 06 Sep 2003 16:51 PDT
Blood Breakdown..
plasma matrix = 55%
rbc's +wbc's = 45%

Erythrocytes (Red blood cells) 4.4-5.5 million mer mm^3

Leukocytes (White blood cells) 5,000-10,000 per mm^3, Neutrophils
60-70% total Leukocyte count (act as phagocytes in the body tissues),
Eosinophils 2-4% total Leukocyte count (kill internal parasites and
detoxification of basophilic bi-products), Basophils 1% total
Leukocyte count (Non-specific Inflammatory response), Lymphocytes
25-30% total leukocyte count (Specific immune response), Monocytes 5%
total leukocyte count (become phagocytic macrophages of connective
tissue at injury sites)

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy